San Bernardino County, CA — In a move intended to reduce animal attacks, the number of animals in San Bernardino County shelters, and the number of animals destroyed by the county, an ordinance requiring virtually all pit bull and pit bull-type dogs in the unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County to be spayed or neutered won unanimous preliminary approval from the Board of Supervisors this week. If the County Board grants final approval to the ordinance when they convene on July 13, it would go into effect 30 days later–and owners of pit bulls would then have 30 days from implementation (making it September’s second week) to comply. As outlined by the county, about 20 percent of the dogs housed in county shelters are pit bull or pit-bull types, and about 20 percent of the dog bites reported in the county are from this breed; also, almost 80 percent of pit bull and pit bull-type dogs housed in county shelters end up being euthanized, which is a higher percentage than any other breed. According to First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt, who supported the ordinance with Supervisor Neil Derry, “During the past five years, four people have been killed by these dogs. No other breed of dog has killed anyone in our county during that time.” The ordinance, which would apply to all but registered pure-breed pit bulls and those used for law enforcement and as service animals, is endorsed by PETA (or the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Upon implementation of the pit bull ordinance, spay-neuter vouchers will be available to eligible owners through the County’s Animal Care and Control Division. For those owners of such dogs who fail to comply, there will be a $100 first-offense penalty, $200 for the second offense, and a $500 fine for each offense thereafter.
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